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Department of
State Growth

Antarctic and Southern Ocean

Tasmania is a hub of expertise in Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, research, education and logistics with the greatest concentration of Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientists and institutions of the five Antarctic gateway cities (Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Town, Hobart, Christchurch). Hobart is the headquarters of Australia’s Antarctic program and gateway home for the French program (Institut Polaire Francaise Paul Emile Victor). Tasmanian businesses possess world-class cold-climate products and services. The Antarctic sector is collaborative and well organised by the unique research, government and business membership alliance the Tasmanian Polar Network.

This year presents a major opportunity to showcase Tasmania’s capabilities as a global centre for Antarctic activity. Tasmania will host meetings of the key international organisations on the Antarctic Treaty and Antarctic tourism.  

Key issues for the Antarctic sector include increasing the capabilities of the port and airport infrastructure to service East Antarctic programs, promoting Tasmanian businesses’ specialist cold-climate products and services to export markets, and supporting the growth of Antarctic and Southern Ocean research.

Priorities for Antarctic Tasmania include:

  • seeking Infrastructure Australia funding as part of the Hobart: a world-class, liveable waterfront city proposal to support the growth and development of the port and airport and its capacity to service Australia’s Antarctic research and science programs, as well as the programs of other Antarctic nations;
  • working with TasPorts to redevelop and promote Macquarie Wharf 2 as home to the Australian Antarctic Division and a specialist Antarctic and cruising facility;
  • hosting the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting 2012, capitalising on the recent Antarctic tourism meeting and promoting Tasmania’s Antarctic capability to international programs;
  • developing new Antarctic market opportunities for Tasmania from Australian Antarctic program needs and East Antarctic nations’ logistics collaborations; and 
  • promoting Tasmania’s Antarctic brand through support of the centennial celebrations of the Mawson and Amundsen expeditions.

Sector summary